Busy entrepreneurs agree: Administrative tasks take a big bite out of tight management schedules. Small Business Administration: How Small Businesses Maximize Productive Time, a 1997 national survey conducted by Comprehensive Business Services (CBS), revealed that 81 percent of small-business owners rank administrative functions among their most time-consuming tasks.
"Small-business owners need to do a lot of different things to be successful," says Charles White at Mission Viejo, California-based CBS. Compounding the challenge, unavoidable duties such as accounting generate no revenue--while gobbling up as much as 15 hours per week for the average small-business owner.
Where can you find relief? An increasingly popular solution is outsourcing. Eighty-two percent of the business owners surveyed outsource accounting and payroll operations--a smart move, according to the numbers: Sixty-eight percent of those who outsource financial functions report saving up to 10 hours per week. "As entrepreneurs prioritize their activities," says White, "outsourcing is an obvious avenue to becoming more efficient."